A June 8 article in the Washington Post reports:
Stay two nights at a Marriott propertyand receive a free night at any of hundreds of properties worldwide. To take advantage of the promo, you must be a Marriott Rewards member (free to join), register for the deal by June 30 and stay twice at any participating hotel by Aug. 31. The company’s major brands, including Courtyard by Marriott, Fairfield Inn & Suites, SpringHill Suites and Residence Inn, are participating. Free nights (max of three) are good for a year after issue date. Info: 888-236-2427, www.marriott.com.
Why can't I find this anywhere on the website or under promotions in my Marriott Rewards?
No it doesn't. I called and I was told that based on my stay history and rewards category, I was not offered this promotion. Instead I was offered an alternative that some computer in all its wisdom thought I would like better: stay 15 nights in three months and get 20,000 free points. Well, duh, given a choice between two nights paid stay for a free certificate or stay 15 nights and get 20,000 points (barely enough for one night some places)... which would you choose? Anyway, they manually entered me in the promotion but I have to call Marriott Rewards every time I stay a night so they can add it to my promotion status. The computer can't track it because ... well because whatever.
A category 4 hotel requires 20,000 points per night and the stay two nights get one night free promotion provides a certificate for a category 1-4 hotel. Even if I stay at hotels that cost 10000 points a night, I can still get two certificates for four nights paid stays, not 15!
I hear you. There has been a lot of discussion on various posts here regarding that we cannot choose the promo we might like best of the offerings being done. A lot of folks have had to call and do the same as you have. Hopefully Marriott is seeing and listening to the discussions here regarding this and will make some changes to how they 'assign'' promotions!
I am not sure how much voting helps but you could vote on Marriott allowing us to choose our promotions. Under Ideas - last checked it had 8 votes. I think that this is one if we can show enough interest Marriott just might do it since it costs Marriott money not to. A call costs us time and costs Marriott money. We have to call twice, once to request and one to have them manually give us what we earned.
I am kinda new to MR and now at gold level. About each quarter I have only ever been offered the stay # of nights and receive a category 1-4 night certificate. I am surprised that this offer is targeted and that depending on your MR usage you might receive a different promotion. I wonder what the threshold is as I sure don't want to loose access to the existing program of free night certificates.
The language is very interesting. Its not incorrect. Its even understated by saying, "hundreds of properties worldwide", yet without clarification its not what most MIs would expect given the variety of experiences they have had as frequent travelers with Marriott and other hotel chains. After looking up the properties, its actually thousands, but if the properties you frequent are not in the list, or the thousands in the list are not to your taste, it maybe inconvenient to use.
I am a gold member and I received the Summer Weekend Bonus, which is staying/paying for weekends....if you have points or free nights wouldn't you use them on the weekends? This promotion doesn't make sense for me. I wish I had the stay 15 nights in three months and get 20,000 free points. This encourages me to travel more for work. I hope somebody is listening!
PROMO BATE & SWITCH!!! If you are already a rewards member (I am platinum 9 yrs) you can't get the 3 free nights promo. You can only participate in the Stay 25 Nights & earn 40,000 rewards points. They have done this in the past...I don't think they care about upsetting a long term Platinim Rewards Member when I would prefer to stay 2 nights then earn a free night vs. Stay 25 nights & receive 40,000 points.
If you participate in the offer that is mentioned above, there are a few things to consider. Contrary to what the Washington Post stated, it is actually one free night after 2 stays, not 2 nights. Secondly you are limited to just 3 free nights on the promotion, lastly you can only receive the free nights for hotels up to category 4.
So it really comes down to your preference. If you use points to stay at lower category hotels, then it's a good promotion. But if you use points for higher category hotels, it won't be of help to you.
I was offered the Summer Bonus Program of stay 15 nights btwn 6/1 and 8/31 and earn 20K reward points, and up to a total of 40K bonus reward points with additional nights stayed. The problem is that there is no way I could ever stay 15 nights between these dates (I'm not a business traveler, and I just finished 10 nights of paid stays plus 5 additional nights on points while on vacation and before the bonus started).
I was also offered the 'Escape the Everyday' promotion where you could earn 5,000 bonus points after two Springhill Suites stays btwn 5/1 and 7/31. I've stayed at Springhill Suites at least once/year for the past 3 years, but things change and the need for that is now gone.
I have a trip coming up where my only stay option is at a FFI. I contacted Customer Service and asked to change the Springhill Suites 'Escape the Everyday' promotion to a Fairfield Inn promotion. I was told I couldn't change the 'Escape the Everyday' promotion, but that I could switch my Summer Bonus Program from the 15 night stay earn 20K (and up to 40K) points to the earn a free night certificate after any two stays anywhere, for up to 6 stays and 3 free night certificates between 6/1 and 8/31. I think this is what you are wanting/looking for. Contact Customer Service and ask them to switch you from the 15 night/20K Summer Bonus Program to the get a free night certificate after every two stays Summer Bonus Program.
1 801 468 4000 (8:15am - 9:00pm, Monday - Friday, US Eastern time)
Also, remember that a stay is not necessarily the same as a night. A stay is any period of consecutive nights. It takes two stays to receive the free night certificate in the Summer Bonus Program.
Happy earning and saving to you!
An easy way to evaluate the pros and cons of these promotional deals is to compare them with buying points.
Did you know that you can buy points [link below]? It's $12.50 for 1,000 points. For 5,000 points its $62.50. If the SHS costs around $100/nite [a good price on the east coast], you will need to spend $200 for 2 nites, and you will get 1,000 points for each stay + 5,000 points after 2 stays, for a total cost of $200 for 7,000 points. Or you could buy 7,000 points for $87.50.
20,000 reward points would cost $250 which is probably less than 15 nites at a hotel. I think the cheapest I have ever stayed at a Marriott brand property is ~$50 times 15 nite is $750.
If you happen to be staying at hotels, whether on vacation, or for work, then the extra points are a nice perk that might influence your decision to stay at Marriott, or which brand within Marriott you might select.
If not, and you just want points, buying them might be the best option. If you use your marriott rewards credit card, you earn a point for every dollar spent, so if you buy 5,000 points for $87.50 on the credit card, you actually receive 5,087. If you buy 20,000 points for $250 on the credit card you would actually get 20,250 points.
There is an annual limit on purchasing points of 50,000 points per year. Also, I believe these are just spendable points, and do not count toward status levels.
I am thinking this might make a nicer present instead of gift cards, or money especially for graduations.
• A member may purchase or receive as a gift a combined maximum of 50,000 points per calendar year.
• Points may be purchased in increments of 1,000.
• Purchase rate is 12.50 (USD) per 1,000 points.
• Please allow 24-48 hours for transaction to be completed and points awarded to recipient.
• You must be a Marriott Rewards member in good standing to both purchase and receive points.
• Once points have been purchased or gifted, no refunds will be permitted.
• Purchasing points with the Marriott Rewards Visa® card will result in earning one point per dollar spent on these transactions.
• All Marriott Rewards Program terms and conditions apply
• Contact Marriott Rewards Customer Support
p.s. forgot to add, its also a nice valuation for using points on the high end properties. If you buy the max of 50,000 points for a cost of $625 on the credit card for a total of 50,625 points. So for a level 8 property requiring 40,000 points, if you bought those points, it would cost you $500. This is why I like to pick the expensive properties to use my points. And if there prices drop, its sometimes better to pay, and I usually ask when I checkin, just to make sure there are no specials I am missing.
I prefer earning free stays over points (as you aptly layed out, the extra points earned for two stays doesn't amount to as great a value as the free certs.) Even though the free stays are only cat 4, there are many perfectly acceptable cat 4 properties here on the west coast, a few costing as much as $250/night. These certs force me to get out of town and take a break. They also can come in handy when family comes to town.